Advanced Academics

Fairfax County Public Schools offers a continuum of advanced academic services at the elementary level.

Advanced Academics Program

Advanced Academics Program


Level IV Services:  An Intellectually stimulating Environment

The AAP Level IV services for students in grades 3 through 8 offers identified students a highly challenging instructional program that follows the FCPS Program of Studies. Differentiation in the depth, breadth, and pace of instruction is designed to meet the needs of advanced learners with a strong emphasis on critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. Students participate with the entire student body in school-based activities such as student government, physical education, band and strings, chorus, and other electives.

Curriculum Goals in the Level IV Program

  • To provide for mastery and enrichment of the FCPS Program of Studies in all curriculum areas, at the pace, depth, and complexity appropriate for advanced learners
  • To develop an understanding of systems of knowledge, themes, issues, and problems
  • To develop thinking skills that foster independent, self-directed learning
  • To develop self-understanding
  • To develop leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

How can parents contribute to their child’s success?

Create a safe, positive, nurturing atmosphere:

  • Be attentive to your child’s comments and observations
  • Create an environment that promotes self-expression and inquiry
  • Emphasize goal-setting, effort, and progress rather than perfection
  • Nurture a growth mindset that views mistakes as opportunities to discover and learn
  • Model positive ways to address setbacks and solve problems
  • Instill ways to help your child understand and regulate emotional reactions
  • Encourage tolerance, empathy, understanding, and recognition of different points of view

How is the Level IV program different from the school-based Level II and Level III services?

  • Level II and III services are part-time services provided through collaboration with the advanced academic resource teacher at the local school.  Students are identified for Level II and III services by local school screening committees.  Level II and III services are available at every FCPS elementary school. 
  • Level IV services are full-time and provide a high level of challenge in the four core subject areas of mathematics, language arts, social studies, and science. Math is accelerated by one grade level.  Eligibility for Level IV services is determined by a central selection committee.  There are 28 elementary centers and 54 schools offer local level IV services.

How are teachers selected for the Level IV program?

  • Level IV teachers are selected by the school principal. Level IV teachers are required to receive either a state endorsement in gifted education or the FCPS Advanced Academic endorsement within five years of accepting a Level IV teaching assignment.  Teachers also receive ongoing professional development in the AAP curriculum framework.

What if my child is eligible for Level IV services but chooses not to receive them?

  • Students found eligible for Level IV services may defer eligibility by noting so on the parent/guardian permission form.  Students may reactivate their eligibility status at a later date by submitting the Reactivation Form (posted on the FCPS website) to the Advanced Academic Programs Office according to guidelines.
  • Students who defer eligibility may participate in the Level III school-based services at the local school. Please contact the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher at your local school to learn about school-based services.

What advanced academic services are available for students in middle school?

  • Honors classes in the four core subjects are open to all middle school students who seek academic rigor. In addition, thirteen middle schools offer the Level IV center program for identified students. Eight middle schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program (MYP), an inclusive program for students in grades 6 through 10.  Math 7 Honors is open to all seventh grade students. Algebra I Honors is available to students who qualify through multiple assessments. 
  • Honors and Level IV center classes provide challenging learning experiences designed to meet the unique learning profile of a broad range of advanced learners. The difference is that students in the Level IV center program have been identified through a central screening and selection process. Center eligible students, who decide not to attend the Level IV center, may select one or more Honors courses in areas of academic strength or interest.

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